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Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

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164                                   ITS ABCHITECTUKAL CfUKACTER.

came to a stand-still and the valuable collection of antiquities I had left behind
me remained utterly uncared for, till I took upon myself to represent the
matter to the local Government. I was thereupon allowed to sabmit plans and
estimates for the completion of the lower story by filling in the doors and win-
dows > without which the building could not possibly be used, and my proposals
were sanctioned. When I last visited Mathura, the "work had made good
progress, and I believe has now been finished for some time ; but many of
the most interesting sculptures are still lying about in the compound of iny old

Though the cost of the building has been so very considerable, nearly
Rs. 44?000j it is only of small dimensions ; but the whole wall surface in the
central court is* a mass of geometric and flowered decorations of the most artis-
tic character. The bands of natural foliage — a feature introduced by Mr. Thorn-
hill's own fancy — are very boldly cut and in themselves decidedly handsome,
but they are not altogether in accord with the conventional designs of native
style by winch they are surrounded.

The following inscription is worked into the cornice of the central hall :—

*l The State having thought good to promote the ease of its subjects, gave
Intimation to the, Magistrate and Collector, ; who then, by the co-operation of
thfc chief men of Mathunij had this house for travellers built with the choicest
carved work,*" Its doors and walls are polished like a mirror ; in Its sculpture
every kind of flower-bed appears in view ; its width and height were assigned
in harmonious proportion ; from top to bottom it is well shaped and well
"balanced. It may very properly be compared to the dome of Airasyab, or it may
*Upon the word aiMafriof, which is used here to denote arabesque earring, the late Mr.
BlocbmaBin rommirnieafced the following note:— "The Arabic nabata means Ho plant,* and the
inteasiYe form of the rerb lias either the game signification or that of « causing to appear like
plants' : hence s«wa&6at comes to mean * traced with flowers/ and may be compared with ma-
Jmjj<trf 4 cmnied to appear like trees/ which is the word applied to silk yith tree-pattena on
it/* like the more common <6